It’s easy to feel heavy these days, especially when logging on to LinkedIn. Like dominos, tech companies are announcing layoffs after layoffs. It’s a never-ending stream of depressing social posts, from “every story has an ending” to “my role has been impacted,” followed by well-meaning bystanders offering support and networking introductions.When companies slash workers, they often place the blame on employees’ lower-than-expected productivity.
But what exactly is productivity? How is it measured?Wall Street and company CFOs have their own definition: Productivity is measured as the total output divided by total input, which includes labor. If revenue and profit drop below analysts’ expectations, especially if the company has gone on a hiring spree, productivity appears low.Individuals, on the other hand, often think about productivity as it relates to their workflow. How fast are they completing the tasks on their to-do lists? What hacks can they use to improve their personal productivity, like the Pomodoro technique or zero-inbox?As you can see, context matters.According to the dictionary, productivity is defined as “the ability to generate, create, improve, or bring forth goods and services.”Wall Street and individuals both use aspects of this definition, but they measure it differently.
Wall Street looks at generating monetary wealth. Individuals, in contrast, focus on what they or their team can create: those to-do lists that ultimately lead to bringing forth goods and services.“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” – Paul J.
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